Cattle drives were an important economic activity in the American West two centuries ago. Historians believed 20 million cattle were herded from Texas to Kansas before they were shipped to stockyards in Chicago and other cities in the east. While there are many cattle drives taking part in the west, this part of cowboy culture is vividly alive at some of the best dude ranches in North America.
If you haven’t experienced the joy and thrill of a cattle drive, here are five reasons that’ll drive you (pardon the pun!) to locate a dude ranch hosting this activity.
#1) Stepping into Cowboys’ Boots
Cowboys earned their name by herding and tending to cattle on the ranches of North America. Their distinctive gear, which comprises of high-crowned cowboy hats, high-heeled boots, leather chaps, spurs, and a rifle/pistol, has always fascinated people, especially on movie screens. With President Theodore Roosevelt further popularizing the American cowboy image through his writings, it’s no wonder that you’d want to be a cowboy yourself.
However, just stepping into cowboy gear won’t be enough for those who truly want to immerse themselves into this world. You need to get your hands dirty to appreciate their heritage; and what better way to do so than participating in a cattle drives? In addition to learning how to handle a large herd, you’ll enjoy the same feelings, smells and sounds which thousands of cowboys experienced before you.
#2) Discovering the Best Scenery Nature Offers
Most dude ranches are located near spring and summer pastures that allow you to appreciate the best of what Mother Nature has to offer. Cattle rides allow you to enjoy the wildest and most beautiful country. While riding, you’re bound to be mesmerized by the scenery surrounding you and even experienced wildlife up close and personal. Just think – the same scenes before you have attracted hundreds of city slickers in the past, driving them to set make their home there before opening it up to you and other guests.